I wake early and listen carefully. Everything is deathly quiet.
I get up and go outside. The sea is like glass and there is only
a whisper of a breeze. The horizon glows and few torn clouds scud
across the sky chased by a jet stream high above.
It was going to be a great day. Suddenly whoops and howls erupt
from chalet 9 and 10 and within seconds there is frantic activity
to get fishing tackle, diving gear and the boats ready.
Shortly after sunrise the first boat puts to sea closely followed
by the second and Clive and I are on the beach fishing.
of Paindane lies at the top of high dunes beneath lofty coconut
trees. There is a steep road angling down to the beach which had
been hardened using coconut husks and in places wooden slats set
horizontally across to form a corduroy grid. So taking a boat
up and down is not a problem. Set slightly back from the beach
is a large thatched Gazebo that once must have been well equipped
with bar facilities and everything else. However the beach at
Paindane is being eroded away and according to the local staff
it used to be 50 meters further out at high tide than what it
currently is. The Gazebo teetered on the edge and already most
of the front veranda area had been lost to the sea.
At high tide the sea is perilously close to the base of the dunes
and there was concern that the bottom end of the access roads
could be washed away. They were tying to bolster the road edge
with logs set into the sand.
From the shoreline
a reef juts out into the sea and curves round to form a sheltered
bay ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Although rod and line
are permitted in the bay inside the reef no spear fishing or boat
fishing is allowed. This only applies to visitors – the
locals (blacks) can do as they please. The reef, exposed at high
tide, and especially so with spring tides, is stripped clean of
all marine life. The ski boats all launch within the bay then
go around to fish on the seaward side of the reef.
of a beach at high tide made launching a boat, or the removal
of a boat, very difficult as there is not much room for a vehicle
to move in, besides the beach slope was steep and the sand was
soft and thick. A dangerous place for a vehicle to be at high
By mid morning
it was bright and hot, almost if the sun, annoyed at having been
blocked out for four days, was now beaming down UV rays at full
force. I decided to go back to the Chalet and re-hydrate myself
with an ice cold ‘Mac Mahon’, a Mozambique brand beer.
I try my cell phone to see if there was an SMS from our daughter
in England. There was an SMS and I was horrified to read a message
from Clive’s brother-in-law saying that Clive’s brother
had died. Not the kind of news that one wants to convey to someone
on holiday. It was not altogether unexpected as his brother had
been very ill, none-the-less chilling news. The message went on
to say, “Funeral on Saturday. See you tomorrow evening.”
Tomorrow been Thursday. We had known that his brother-in-law was
flying in the next day as he was negotiating to have a house built
on a piece of land he had acquired between Guinjata Bay and Paindane.
By late afternoon
Struan, and his Landover, returned from Maputo.
Clive and Struan (father & son) agonised over the decision
of what to do. To return home would mean that they would have
to leave either mid Thursday, or very early Friday to travel the
1174 kilometres back to Greytown. Struan felt he could not abandon
his friends. Meanwhile a number of other SMS’s were received
from family begging Clive to come home. The matter was further
complicated by the fact that Clive’s wife was in England
and she could not get back.
Now let me
tell you about what had happened to Struan and his fancy green
For starters the technician from Maputo only arrived at three
in the afternoon and not at mid-day as promised. After working
on the Landover for a few hours they could not get it started
so they loaded the Landover onto the truck they came in, and together
with Struan, drove through the night back to Maputo. At their
workshops the next morning they managed to get things sorted out
and the Landover started. Next problem was the question of payment.
Landover South Africa has assured Struan that they would pay Landover
Landover Mozambique said “Not a damn – they take too
long to pay.” They wanted payment now! All R7800 of it.
Struan had to go to a bank and after a flurry of telephone calls
between his bank in SA and the local bank funds were transferred
and the Landover agents paid.
is still not right, but with a box of fuses, Struan at least knows
what to do to get it going. He is not a happy chappy.
we had a great fish braai with the 15 kg Barracuda that the boys
had caught that day.